Facebook admits year-long data breach exposed 6 million users
SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Facebook Inc has inadvertently exposed six million users' phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorised viewers over the past year, the world's largest social networking company disclosed late on Friday.
Facebook blamed the data leaks, which began in 2012, on a technical glitch in its massive archive of contact information collected from its 1.1 billion users worldwide. As a result of the glitch, Facebook users who downloaded contact data for their list of friends obtained additional information that they were not supposed to have.
Facebook's security team was alerted to the bug last week and fixed it within 24 hours. But Facebook did not publicly acknowledge the bug until Friday afternoon, when it published an "important message" on its blog explaining the issue.
A Facebook spokesman said the delay was due to company procedure stipulating that regulators and affected users be notified before making a public announcement.